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House OKs $588K for harbor deepening
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The House of Representatives passed the final appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2012. In conjunction with the vote, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) and Rep. John Barrow (D-Savannah) announced that the legislation includes $588,000 in construction funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to advance the deepening of the Savannah Harbor.

“Although it is a relatively small amount of initial funding, the key is these are construction dollars, not planning or study funds,” said Kingston.  “Supporting that shift from the planning to the implementation stage is critical to keeping the project on schedule and ready to start when it gets the final green light.”

“We’ve got to get the Savannah Port deepened,” said Barrow. “Deepening this port has been one of my top priorities because it’s vital for long term job growth in Georgia. I’m happy to see any additional funding for this project, and I’ll continue to work with Jack and every member of Georgia’s delegation to see that we complete this project.”

The interagency Record of Decision, which formally approves and, in effect, commences the construction phase of the project, is expected to be completed mid-2012.  Having federal funds ready, along with existing state funds, will put the port in the best position to begin work quickly.  This funding also helps pave the way for the President to request the full construction funding requirement for FY 2013.

“The entire Georgia Congressional delegation, along with the governor, has asked the Administration to include the next, much larger allotment we need when they submit their 2013 budget in February,” Kingston said. “Working together, we can be sure this port is ready and competitive in the new jumbo ship Panamax world.”